Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Fixed Odds in Jersey?

It looks like fixed odds wagering for horse racing will make its debut in New Jersey, hopefully by the Monmouth meet. It appears this will be done via a deal with one specific company:

"The 10-year agreement will allow the Australian company, BetMakers, to offer fixed-odds bets on races at Monmouth in New Jersey and market fixed-odds betting on the Monmouth signal to other jurisdictions in the U.S. and worldwide."

I guess this should not be too much of a surprise as Monmouth had offered some props via the sportsbook last year, and shows less reluctance to try new things than some.

Looking forward, I surmise the lines for win wagers will be pretty high takeout - probably near board odds. In effect, I suspect they're using this to offer out the Monmouth signal (in a way) in a sportsbook, hopefully to entice bettors to give them a look. It feels like this won't be something for me, you, or serious bettors, but more of a marketing play.

Frankly, I half-expected to see something different in this vein from the Garden State.

With an already working exchange, and Fanduel/Betfair firmly cemented in the State with the infrastructure and marketing pipeline set up, I think a fixed odds system is most optimal using their technology, state wide. As many of you know, a fixed odds system with an exchange, where bets can be laid off, and priced out using the Betfair Starting Price can be pretty vibrant. The market, in my view, could do some serious volume, enticing both existing players, players overseas and new bettors to give them a look.

Reading between the lines, and the tea leaves, this feels more like a dip in the water salvo, rather than a long term play. We see this in the sport quite often - "we want to try it, but we have to protect what we have."

Interestingly enough, this is what many of us thought the strategy with sports betting would've been - high takeout lines, tied to doing something, but not priced to optimally grow revenue in a low margin high volume vertical. Sports betting went all in, and it's a reason why it'll do (nationwide) $15B or so this year.

Have a nice Wednesday everyone.

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